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Indian Budget 2011-12-Full Text of Budget Speech
Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Finance- February 28, 2011

Improving Governance

I now turn to some important measures being taken for improving governance.

UID Mission

120. The UID Mission has taken off and Aadhaar numbers are being generated in large numbers. So far 20 lakh Aadhaar numbers have been given and from 1st October 2011, ten lakh numbers will be generated per day. The stage is now set for realising the potential of Aadhaar for improving service delivery, accountability and transparency in governance of various schemes.

IT Initiatives

121. The backbone of an efficient tax administration is a robust IT infrastructure and its deployment for enhanced taxpayer services. Towards this objective, both the Central Boards of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Excise and Customs (CBEC) have put in place the following measures:

• The on-line preparation and e-filing of income tax returns,

e-payment of taxes through 32 agency banks, ECS facility for electronic clearing of refunds directly in taxpayers’ bank accounts and electronic filing of TDS returns are now available throughout the country. These measures have empowered taxpayers to meet their tax obligations without visiting an income tax office.

• The Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) at Bengaluru has increased its daily processing capacity from 20,000 to 1.5 lakh returns in 2010-11. This project has won a Gold Award for e-Governance in 2011. Two more CPCs will become operational in Manesar and Pune by May 2011 and a fourth CPC will come up in Kolkata in 2011-12.

• With the completion of its IT Consolidation Project, CBEC can now centrally host its key applications in Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax. The Customs EDI system now covers 92 locations across the country. CBEC's e-Commerce portal ICEGATE, has also been conferred a Gold Award for e-Governance.

• The 'Sevottam' concept has been adopted by both Boards. The three pilot projects of Aaykar Seva Kendras (ASKs) under CBDT have come of age. CBDT will commission eight more such centres this year. In 2011-12, another fifty ASKs will be set up across the country. CBEC has also launched a similar initiative and four of their pilot projects have been commissioned.

• The electronic filing of Tax Deduction at Source (TDS) statements has stabilized. The Board shall soon notify a category of salaried taxpayers who will not be required to file a return of income as their tax liability has been discharged by their employer through deduction at source.

• CBDT will provide a separate web-based facility to enable a direct, stand-alone interface for taxpayers with the Income Tax Department so that they can report and track the resolution of their refunds and credit for prepaid taxes.

122. Mission Mode Projects for computerization of Commercial Taxes in States that I announced in my last Budget, will allow States to align with the roll out of GST. Funds have been released for 31 projects received from the States and Union Territories. Most of the States and UTs have already enabled the facility of dealers making electronic payments. A number of States have already started accepting Electronic Tax Returns and issuing forms required for inter-state trade.

123. With the development of the economy, the need to review the provisions of the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 has been felt over the years. I propose to introduce a Bill shortly to amend the Indian Stamp Act.

124. Five years ago, we took an initiative to introduce a modern and people-friendly e-stamping facility in the country. Only six States have introduced this system so far. I propose to launch a new scheme with an outlay of `300 crore to provide assistance to States to modernise their stamp and registration administration and roll out e-stamping in all the districts in the next three years.

125. I propose to introduce a new simplified return form 'Sugam' to reduce the compliance burden of small taxpayers who fall within the scope of presumptive taxation.

126. The increase in scope of cases admitted by the Settlement Commissions has provided relief to several taxpayers. This has also increased the workload of the Commission. To fast track the disposal of cases, three more Benches of the Commission are being set up.

127. Substantial amounts of revenue in both direct and indirect taxes, remain locked up in appeals at different levels. Both Boards also invest substantial effort and money in litigation with their employees. In keeping with the National Litigation Policy, several steps have been initiated in 2010-11 for reducing litigation and focusing attention on high revenue cases. Instructions have been issued raising limit of tax effects below which, tax disputes will not be pursued by Government in higher Courts of Appeal. These measures would enhance productivity of resources employed in raising revenue.

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